ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL

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U.S. Access Board to Hold Forum on Assembly Area Accessibility – Be There!

On September 6th 2018, the U.S. Access Board will hold a public forum on accessibility and assembly areas. The daylong event will focus on accessibility issues related to the design of movie theaters, dinner theaters, performing arts centers, lecture halls, stadiums, arenas, grandstands, and other assembly venues. It will be structured as a town hall meeting where participants can raise questions ...
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NATIVE Hotels and ABILITY Magazine are Partnered to Expand Awareness for the Need and Benefits in Accessible Destinations

Since 2010, NATIVE Hotels have worked with clients, hoteliers and engineers to provide better experiences for all. Your accessible journey begins on an accessible website, perhaps as accessible as NATIVE’s, where you can browse the Internet without looking at the screen, without touching the keyboard and without talking to the computer. Simply by blowing, touching any key or emitting ...
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International Toilet Tourism

We may be on the verge of a renaissance when it comes to toilets and the spaces they inhabit. Travel and tourism researchers Carolyn Childs and Bronwyn White conducted focus groups and quantitative research on the impact of public toilets in tourism destinations. And guess what? The quality of a restroom matters … a lot! Their research revealed that ...
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Sports — Diplomacy to Touch the World

For the hundredth time, she wrapped her hands tightly around the barbell and breathed in deeply. She pushed the weight up over the rack and waited for the signal from the judge. For a moment, she blocked out every other thought and concentrated on only one task: bringing the weight down onto her chest and powerfully pressing it back ...
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Three Weeks in Europe

Hey everyone, I’m writing this from New York City because the legendary Carnegie Deli is my dad’s favorite restaurant ever, and it’s closing down in December after almost 80 years. So that’s why we are here. Can you tell that my family loves to eat? Ha ha. I’m just back from Europe with my friend Lindsey. It was one ...
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Armenia — A University of Change

Until it became independent in 1991, Armenia was one of the 15 republics that made up the Soviet Union. The country is rich in culture deeply rooted in its ancestry—what it lacks in population, the people surpass in determination. Armen Der Kiureghian, PhD, has been dividing his time between UC Berkeley and the American University of Armenia (AUA). Merely ...
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Hans — Museum of the Mind

ABILITY caught up with Hans Looijen, who heads up Het Dolhuys, the museum of the mind in Haarlem, Netherlands, when he was attending an Integrated Art Exhibition in Wuhan, China. His museum explores the boundaries between what they consider to be normal, abnormal, as well as deviant behavior. Looijen is also chairman of the International Madness & Arts Foundation. ...
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Yosemite — Bear Necesseties

  The majesty of Yosemite Valley beckons me every summer. My husband and I make the long winding drive from Marin County, across the Central Valley and up into the hills and down again, to hang out with friends by the lazy Tuolomne River, surrounded by trees, and gaze at the astounding glacier-cut granite. I’m a polio survivor, have ...
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Zach Anner Interview

YouTube phenomenon Zach Anner became a household name five years ago when he co-won Oprah Winfrey’s Reality TV competition, Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. Though his wheelchair travel series, Rollin’ With Zach, was short lived, Anner has kept it moving. His YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers, and tens of millions have seen ...
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Fun in Europe!

  It’s been a crazy life for me recently! My best friend and I went to Europe for a three-week vacation. We booked the tickets so long ago that I thought the day would never arrive, but then we were leaving New York and buckling up for the flight to Italy. Ashley—my friend’s name, as well—and I were both ...
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LILY BANDAK — A Clear Focus

Photographer and advocate, Lily Bandak, and her colleague, San Diego State University professor and administrator Caren Sax, recently spoke with ABILITY’s Lia Martirosyan and Chet Cooper about ringing the link between travel, education, photography and disability into focus. Chet Cooper: Tell us about your photography background. Lily Bandak: My family is from Bethlehem in Palestine. We immigrated to this ...
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Destinations for All

The tourism industry successfully reached one billion international travelers in 2012. While this represents strong growth, there are still great challenges for the approximately 15 percent of travelers who have a disability and need accessible transportation. Without this, they lack the ability to enjoy the full range of tourist destinations. This lack of accommodation is one of the many ...
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Voiceye–Accessible Code

Similar looking to barcodes used on products at the grocery store, VOICEYE encodes large amounts of data into a small, printed square. Using a free app available on your smartphone, scanned VOICEYE codes can be translated and decoded in a variety of ways: print, voice, braille, or translation. Recently while visiting Seoul, Korea, ABILITY’s Lia Martirosyan spoke with Michael Park, ...
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OrCam — Point the Way!

Imagine a person with low vision walk into a coffee shop, order from a wall menu and then sit down to read a newspaper. Or that same individual producing the right fare amount for a taxi to the airport, and then reading the flight-board to find their gate for departure. While these examples might seem blasé to the fully ...
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Morgan’s Wonderland — An Accessible Fun-der-land

While splashing in a hotel pool in 2006, Gordon Hartman’s daughter, Morgan, approached some children. Unable to speak, she tapped a ball at them eager to play, but they backed away cautiously. The moment both saddened Hartman and made him determined to find a place where people like Morgan, who have cognitive or physical disabilities, can revel to their ...
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Sharjah’s — Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi

At the recent assistive technology conference in San Diego, ABILITY’s Chet Cooper and Lia Limón Martirosyan caught up with Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi and Amal Al-Khamis. They’d flown in from Sharjah, one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE). Chet Cooper: Does Sheikha mean “princess” Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi: In Saudi Arabia, which is a ...
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Haitian Leader — Changing Attitudes on Disability

Gerald Oriol, Jr., Haiti’s Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, has no shortage of education: He holds degrees from the University of Florida and Harvard. He also possesses a wealth of public, private and nonprofit experience. Still, President Michel Martelly’s decision to appoint Oriol, who has spinal muscular atrophy, represents a paradigm shift for a ...